St Augustine Fire Chief J. C. Costeira briefed Historic City News editor Michael Gold at the scene of an afternoon fire at Lewis Hall on the Flagler College Campus.
Police were on the scene at about 1:00 p.m. and had closed Valencia Street at Cordova Street and Sevilla Street. St Augustine and St Johns County firefighters arrived and lined the streets in full turnout gear, prepared for what could have been a much larger blaze.
“It appears to have started on the third floor of the residence hall in the area of the laundry,” Costeira reported. “We believe a commercial clothes dryer overheated which lead to the accidental fire.”
A foul smell was in the air outside the building. One of the firefighters remarked that he believed that some sort of rubberized floor mat near the clothes dryer was the source of the odor. Further investigation into the cause of the fire will continue. There was no estimate given as to a dollar amount of damage to the building.
St. Augustine Police reported that the fire was out and the clean-up was underway by about 1:45 p.m. Police remained in the area for a short time assisting with traffic control. No injuries to students or emergency personnel were reported.
Director of Safety and Security for Flagler College, Kerry B. Davis, approached with concern that I had walked down the un-blocked, public sidewalk to photograph the commotion. We will continue to do so to bring our readers as close as possible to breaking news. Perhaps his time would be better spent supervising the use of student laundry equipment.
Photo credits: © 2016 Historic City News staff photographer